This why we must ‘press one for English’.
A teacher at Cliffside Park High School in New Jersey got slammed for urging her students to speak English instead of Spanish inside her classroom.
“Men and women [in the military] are fighting,” the unnamed teacher said in a video posted on social media. “They are not fighting for your right to speak Spanish. They are fighting for your right to speak American.”
Several students reacted to the remarks by leaving class, with one calling the instructor — who teaches English — a “racist.” The video has sparked outrage among the local community.
Some alumni of Cliffside Park High School trashed the teacher on Facebook as “disrespectful” and racist, but others defended her as a “wonderful teacher” and “a great person.”
One student who was in the classroom that day told WPIX 11 the incident occurred after the teacher repeatedly asked students who were whispering in Spanish to stop talking in class. “This school is not a negative school,” said senior Carmen Benitez.
The incident raises several issues. One, students know they’re not supposed to talk in class (in any language) if the teacher is giving a lesson. If you want to gossip, do that on your own time.
Second, while the teacher’s comments were insensitive, she’s not entirely wrong: She has a right to teach without being interrupted. That’s her job. Also, talking in class disrupts the educational experience for other students.